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Poster: billbarstad Date: Jan 2, 2011 4:29pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: At Sea

I've been unsure what Video-Cellar and others mean when they use the term "before GATT" or "before GATT/URAA". All GATT means to me, besides some very confusing rules and deliberately confusing law, is that it extends the copyright of 'all works that were still copyrighted in their source country and that had not entered the public domain in the country where copyright was claimed due to the expiration of a previously granted copyright there.' The extended copyright according to this post is "the life of the last surviving author plus 70 years".

Another thing that has me stumped has to do with UK copyright specifically, and that is the assertion that their films made prior to 1946 are PD as long as they were PD in the US. Why is 1946 significant? I know the debate has been raging about UK copyright, and I'm sure it will until courts decide.

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Poster: Administrator, Curator, or StaffVideo-Cellar Date: Jan 2, 2011 9:49pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: At Sea

In order to qualify for GATT/URAA restoration the work had to be in copyright in its source country on the relevant date for the GATT/URAA legislation 1 January 1996. If it wasn't in copyright on that date and was subsequently put back into copyright in its source country at a later date it had already missed out on qualifying for restoration.

British Films that were inelegible for GATT/URAA restoration had terms that had expired by 31 December 1995. For films with 50 year terms that was films made and published before the beginning of 1946.

Even if a film was given an extended or revived copyright period in its source country after the GATT/URAA date, only its copyright status before GATT/URAA counts.

If the film qualified for GATT/URAA restoration, the US copyright runs its full course (for the term under US law, not the source country's law). This happens even if the source country has a shorter copyright term and the film now enters the public domain in the source country before the US.

This post was modified by Video-Cellar on 2011-01-03 05:49:49

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Poster: billbarstad Date: Jan 3, 2011 5:20am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: At Sea

I suspected that the "before GATT" and 1946 cutoff were related. Thanks for squaring that.

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Poster: Mystic550 Date: Jan 6, 2011 4:50pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: At Sea

A few more GATT questions?

Would GATT restore copyright in a film that was never registered in the U.S.?

Would GATT restore copyright in a film that was never released in the U.S.?

Would GATT restore the copyright if copyright notice is left off the print or improper notice?

Thanks

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Poster: billbarstad Date: Jan 6, 2011 6:37pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: At Sea

I believe the answer to all three questions is yes. The person to ask for certain is Video-Cellar.

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Poster: Administrator, Curator, or StaffVideo-Cellar Date: Jan 6, 2011 7:00pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: At Sea

A few more GATT questions?

Would GATT restore copyright in a film that was never registered in the U.S.?

Yes, as long as the work qualified for restoration:

1 Be under copyright in its source country at 1 Jan 1996
AND
2 Lost its copyright in the US due to non-compliance with formailties (notice, renewal, etc)
AND
3 Have an author who was a citizen or domicile (permanent resident) of the source country at time of publication
AND
4 Have not been first published in the US or published in the US within 30 days of its publication in the source country
(USC 17 104.A.6)

Would GATT restore copyright in a film that was never released in the U.S.?

Didn't need to. The work was already treated as an unpublished work for US copyright purposes (pretected for 120 years from creation of 95 years from subsequent publication, whichever comes first.)

Would GATT restore the copyright if copyright notice is left off the print or improper notice?

Yes, as long as it met the other requirements above.

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Poster: Mystic550 Date: Jan 7, 2011 12:45am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: At Sea

Thanks for the info and the clarification. Looking at the GATT circular I have one other question. One of the four requirements listed for eligibility of restoration is:

1. At the time the work was created, at least one author (or
rightholder in the case of a sound recording) must have
been a national or domiciliary of an eligible source country.

An eligible source country is a country, other than the
United States, that is a member of the WTO, a member
of the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary
and Artistic Works, or subject to a presidential proclamation
restoring U.S. copyright protection to works of that
country on the basis of reciprocal treatment of the works
of U.S. nationals or domiciliaries.

Notes:

5. Although a country can become a source country through a presidential proclamation, only one such proclamation has been issued to date. That proclamation has to do with Vietnam.

So if I am reading and understanding that correctly only films released after the country joined Berne or WTO would be eligible for GATT.

For example Mexico did not join the Berne convention until June 11, 1967 and Trips (WTO) until January 1, 1995.

Is it a correct statement to say that films from Mexico before June 11, 1967 are not eligible for GATT based on the eligible source country criteria?

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Poster: Administrator, Curator, or StaffVideo-Cellar Date: Jan 7, 2011 1:14am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: At Sea

I would guess that because the membership of Berne and WTO is in the present tense it only mattered wether they were a member at the restoration date. After joining these treaties, parties are generally supposed to respect all copyrights in existance in party countries. Including the ones that commenced prior to joining the treaty.

This post was modified by Video-Cellar on 2011-01-07 09:14:57

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Poster: Mystic550 Date: Jan 7, 2011 1:28pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: At Sea

Looking at the first paragraph though it looks like past tense.

At the time the work was created,
at least one author (or rightholder in the case of a sound recording) must have been a national or domiciliary of an eligible source country.

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Poster: Administrator, Curator, or StaffVideo-Cellar Date: Jan 7, 2011 4:15pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: At Sea

But to be an "eligible source country" they only had to currently be a member of Berne or WTO (the definition is in the present tense). The law is saying that any work that is from any country that is a member of those treaty organisations on 1 jan 1996 that meets the other criteria is restored. And that any works from any country that joins the treaty organisation at a later date can be restored under presidential proclamation.

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Poster: Mystic550 Date: Jan 7, 2011 6:38pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: At Sea

Ok I think I understand it now. It is just saying that they had to be a national of that country and eligible source country is determined by whether they were a member on 01/01/1996 for GATT. For presidential proclamation the circular does state in the footnotes that the only country that has received that is Vietnam.

So if any country other than Vietnam was not a member of Berne or WTO on 01/01/1996 then they don't qualify for GATT.

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Poster: Administrator, Curator, or StaffVideo-Cellar Date: Jan 7, 2011 7:19pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: At Sea

Yes thats right. GATT doesn't apply to countries that aren't members of the treaties, weren't members on 1 Jan 1996, or have since become members but weren't proclaimed as elegible countries.

This post was modified by Video-Cellar on 2011-01-08 03:19:32

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Poster: billbarstad Date: Jan 25, 2011 11:34am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: At Sea

I've got another GATT question, too. If a UK film is cut down for release in the US, and given a new name, would this US release be protected as a derivative work under GATT or as a UK movie released first in the US on which GATT wouldn't apply?

I'm thinking of the 76 minute-long movie The Atomic Man (1955), which I posted here a while ago. It was released as Timeslip, and ran 93 minutes in the UK. I don't know if the full length movie was released in the US, or if that's important. The US copyright for The Atomic Man wasn't renewed, but Timeslip was under copyright in the UK when GATT went into effect. There's a GATT/URAA restoration notice for Timeslip at USCO.